The attention span factor - Macleans.ca
 

The attention span factor


 

Susan Delacourt seems really excited for the possibility of mature debate in a fall election.

If Harper is going to go on the election warpath with speeches like the one we saw last night on CBC TV (all that’s missing is his tinfoil hat), and if it works, then he is absolutely correct to conclude that the Canadian public is stupid … Let’s recap: Stephen Harper, circa 2004, thought there was nothing wrong with getting the Bloc’s signature to make a bid for power — without an election. Stephen Harper, circa 2009, tells us that this is the most frightening thing in the world. Because it threatens his power.

Political debate would be far more interesting/productive in this country if people’s memories stretched longer than the life span of a fruit fly.


 

The attention span factor

  1. Boy oh boy, Susan Delacourt is in for some kinda lesson in bad faith argumentation when DennisF hears about this.

  2. "Political debate would be far more interesting/productive in this country if people's memories stretched longer than the life span of a fruit fly."

    Or if the MSM actually mentioned things like the 2004/2009 coalition discrepancy in their television news coverage. You know, if every time Harper decried the Coalition we got an adverbial phrase like "in spite of his own earlier support for a Bloc coalition in 2004." And, naturally, vice versa for Layton and Iggy. Instead the TV news just doles out airtime to party spin.

    • well-stated Jack, but please do include print too (and radio, though perhaps less so)…we have Stephen Taylor writing for MacLeans, Powers and Silver over at the Globe, the 'Hot or Not' tripe etc. Old-school valuable journalism, as you describe, is getting crowded out of its own market.

    • well-stated Jack, but please do include print too (and radio, though perhaps less so)…we have Stephen Taylor writing for MacLeans, Powers and Silver over at the Globe, the 'Hot or Not' tripe etc. Old-school valuable journalism, as you describe, is getting crowded out of its own market, with too few exceptions.

  3. That was then, this now.

    • Is that the motto engraved on Harper's silverware?

      • It's borrowed from the LIberal Party's coat-of-arms.

        • Also engraved on the back of the comfy fur rugs

        • So we need a motto for the door to the National Press Theatre: "Let he who is without sin."

        • That actually makes some sense. From Brown's speeches to Rove's opinions, it's unlike Harper's party to come up with anything on their own.

  4. Poor old Susan. She's never been quite the same since the Globe outed Allan Rock as one of her confidential sources.

  5. Amen.

  6. See I don't think Canadians are stupid, and they were definitely not stupid for being outraged at the coalition in December 2008. The reason they weren't outraged in 2004 is that nothing came of that agreement (although the three opposition parties had the seats to make something come of it if they wanted to).

    This is what bugs me most about the press – and particularly Aaron Wherry. The press is more interested in the hypocrisy or "gotcha!" issue than it is about the substantive issue. The substantive issues are:
    1. Is a coalition a likely outcome
    2. If likely, will it be good or bad for Canada
    3. Given your answer to 2, who should you vote for to bring about desired outcome

    Whether or not Harper is a hypocrite, a Conservative (or Liberal) majority would preempt a coalition. I am sorry if that doesn't fit with Aaron Wherry's notion of mature debate (as if being a compulsive blogger who shouts "hypocrisy" every 5 seconds is some gold standard of debate).

    • "See I don't think Canadians are stupid, and they were definitely not stupid for being outraged at the coalition in December 2008. The reason they weren't outraged in 2004 is that nothing came of that agreement (although the three opposition parties had the seats to make something come of it if they wanted to)."

      Nothing came out of the 2008 coalition threat either. (Both 2004 & 2008 had letters… That's it.) In 2008 though, Harper prorogued Parliament because he felt entitled to rule as if he was given a majority. This is the first time in history that a Prime Minister has been too much of a coward to face a confidence vote. First time in history.

      If Canadians swallow Harper's lies, then they are stupid and there's no hope for Canada. But I think an election campaign will be a good time for Canadians to rise to the occasion and unseat this dictator wanna-be.

      • What I don't get is the apparent need for conservative commentators to view "Canadians"
        as a collective. Not all Canadians viewed the coalition as a "threat".

        Granted, a lot of the punditi did. And most conservatives did. Coincidence ?

        But they are not all "Canadians".

  7. I will also be voting Fruit Fly in the next election.

  8. I thought it was more a Dion thing, myself.

  9. If Harper is going to go on the election warpath with speeches like the one we saw last night on CBC TV (all that's missing is his tinfoil hat), and if it works, then he is absolutely correct to conclude that the Canadian public is stupid

    Wow. Sounds like a fair and balanced comment from the Star's Ottawa bureau chief. From this statement I have no clue what her opinion is of Harper's private partisan speech to a roomful of his own supporters. How did we conservatives ever get the impression of a biased media?

    • "How did we conservatives ever get the impression of a biased media?"

      By failing to renew your National Post subscription?

    • Yeah, somehow I suspect Susan Delacourt's perspective is not exactly the Canadian mainstream.

  10. You're exactly right.

  11. It's an outrage I tell you, an outrage, the gall of……….ummm………what's the topic?

  12. Susan says: "Political debate would be far more interesting/productive in this country if people's memories stretched longer than the life span of a fruit fly."

    Isn't she from Toronto? It was reported this week that over 50% of people in the Toronto area are not sufficient – literary speaking. Susan Delacourt might want to take some additional lessons on reading apprehension. Nowhere in the 2004 letter does it mention a formal coalition proposal. All the letter is asking for is for the GG to take the opposition parties in consideration if the Martin government were to fall. The 2008 agreement is another take on things.

  13. Any coalition, or talk of coalition will judged on the merits of its political context, and it is the voters who deliver that judgment.

    That is why it is silly for Rob Silver to talk of absolutes.

  14. It is hard not to be cynical when I see a rating of only +2 for your post, five hours after you posted. Well, you got my vote for what its worth.

  15. It is hard not to be cynical when I see a rating of only +2 for your post, five hours after you posted, while Mitchell has a +5 for precisely those qualities you identify. Well, you got my vote for what its worth.

  16. It is hard not to be cynical when I see a rating of only +2 for your post, five hours after you posted, while Mitchell has a +5 for precisely those qualities you identify. Well, you got my vote for what its worth.

  17. It is hard not to be cynical when I see a rating of only plus-2 for your post, five hours after you posted, while Mitchell has a plus-5 for precisely those qualities you identify. Well, you got my vote for what its worth.

  18. Well said.

  19. Susan says: "Political debate would be far more interesting/productive in this country if people's memories stretched longer than the life span of a fruit fly."

    Isn't she from Toronto? It was reported this week that over 50% of people in the Toronto area are weak in literary skills. Susan Delacourt might want to take some additional lessons on reading apprehension. Nowhere in the 2004 letter does it mention a formal coalition proposal. All the letter is asking for is for the GG to take the opposition parties in consideration if the Martin government were to fall. The 2008 agreement is another take on things.

    • Assuming that you meant reading comprehension, is there a particular course outline or something similar that you could point Susan towards? I'm curious to know with which of the specific criteria that are used to assess reading comprehension you believe Susan is deficient.

      Or, if you did mean apprehension, plesae disregard.